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A guide to raising Reptiles 

To raise and release any native species requires you to have a license from D.E.S. If you are interested in becoming a carer, please read through this site, then contact this group or another to find out about joining.

This information is a guide only. Practices change and are updated constantly.

Goanna - L. Christensen

Goanna - L. Christensen

Water Dragon - R & J Le-Bherz

You need a license to raise Australian reptiles.



Have you found an injured or young reptile?


Generally reptiles come into care due to car hit, dog / cat attacks, poisoning or human attack. Few come into care because they are 'orphaned'. Reptiles are quite self-sufficient from a young age, they do not rely on parental supervision for survival.


First question you will need to ask yourself, especially when locating an injured snake, is “Is this animal dangerous?” If you can’t answer that question, call someone who will be able to help. NEVER put your own safety at risk.


Reptiles are ectothermic, which means they are unable to generate enough heat to stay at a stable temperature. This means if you are caring for our scaly friends, you will need an external heat source to keep them warm. If they are not kept at a sufficient temperature, their metabolism will shut down, and you will have a starving animal on your hands, if not a dead one.


General species that come into care are -


Turtles – short necks and long necks etc

Lizards – most common in care are bearded dragons and blue tongued skinks

Snakes – Carpet pythons and green tree snakes


For turtles a carer will need a fish tank or escape proof pond in which to house the animal. This tank/pond needs to be large enough that the animal can swim freely without touching the sides. Turtles also require a UV light, heat and a good calcium source.


Lizards and snakes will need a terrarium or fish tank, even an old cupboard or storage box can be converted into a rehab home for these guys. Again make sure any enclosure is escape proof, remembering lizards and especially snakes can get out of very, very small holes. Lizards too will need a UV source, however both will require heat.


Some things to have on hand if you care/or wish to care for reptiles.


1)                  Frozen rat and mouse pinkies (purchased from a pet store, both lizards and snakes will love these)

2)                  Tongs (saves your hand being food)

3)                  Insectivore mix

4)                  Meal worms (purchased from pet stores or breed your own )

5)                  Lamb / Beef heart

6)                  Appropriate enclosures, heating equipment and UV lights

7)                  Towels / sheets

8)                  Calcium powder

9)                  Gloves

10)               Syringes

11)               Tweezers

12)               Ceramic water bowls

13)               Newspaper

14)               Betadine or similar


Caring for reptiles is just as rewarding as caring for any other injured animal; however keep in mind, the affection may not be reciprocated...


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